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RCE Bulletin

Issue 100: December 2019

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre!

As we get ready to farewell 2019 and usher in the new year, we would like to thank each and every RCE for their contributions to both the network and ESD at large over the past year - it has been a delight to see and we are looking forward to continuing this journey as a network next year and beyond.

The breadth and depth of outstanding innovative projects RCEs have worked on over the past year can be seen by taking a look at this year's RCE Award Winners. Congratulations to the winning projects! Further details are below. May we also take this opportunity to remind you all of the open call to host RCE events in 2020, which closes at the end of January.

Should you wish to contribute news, an upcoming event, or an open call to an upcoming bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the Global RCE Service Centre at rceservicecentre@unu.edu (submissions close on the 15th of each month).

From all at the Global RCE Service Centre, we would like to wish you a Happy Holidays!

Please note that the RCE Secretariat will be closed during the UNU's official vacation period (24 December, 2019 - 2 January, 2020). We will process your requests and emails when we return in the New Year.

The Global RCE Service Centre

Reminder: Open Call to Host RCE Events in 2020

The Global RCE Service Centre gladly announces an open call to host RCE events in 2020!

The Regional RCE Meetings in Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, and the Global RCE Conference continue to be important mechanisms to create synergies within the network and specifically within and across regions. These events provide a platform for discussion, networking, the sharing of knowledge, and learning.

RCEs interested in hosting either a regional meeting or the Global RCE Conference are encouraged to apply. Applications are currently being accepted to host the following events:

  • 13th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting
  • 10th African Regional Meeting
  • Europe Regional Meeting 2020
  • 9th Americas Regional Meeting
  • 12th Global RCE Conference

To find out more about the process, view the open call here. The deadline for applications is Friday 31 January, 2020.

2019 RCE Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Established in 2012, the RCE Award celebrates projects and programmes on ESD within the Global RCE Network, honouring RCEs who have made outstanding contributions to address local sustainable development challenges in their regions.

The Award recognises projects and programmes that bridge local and global perspectives on sustainable development, those that engage with transformative learning and research, and initiatives that contribute to community engagement, research & development and capacity development of stakeholders and partners. The winners of the eighth annual RCE Awards, covered projects across a spectrum of the SDGs and themes, including climate action, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and of course, quality education. Take a look at a video announcing this year's winners here or see the full list here.

Upcoming Events

Open Calls

Applications Open: 2020 UNU-IAS Master's and Doctoral Degree Programmes

UNU-IAS is now accepting applications for September 2020 admission to its postgraduate degree programmes: the Master of Science in Sustainability and the PhD in Sustainability Science. Both programmes aim to produce the policymakers and researchers of tomorrow, who will be at the forefront of global efforts towards a more sustainable future. The application deadlines are 28 February, 2020 for the master's programme, and 10 April, 2020 for the doctoral programme. Read more

Applications Open: 2020 JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme

UNU-IAS is now accepting applications for the JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship programme for 2020. Jointly organised by UNU-IAS and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the programme provides promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research relevant to the main thematic focus areas of the institute. The application deadline for the JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship programme is 21 February 2020. Read more

Call for Chapters: Institution Development for Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth in Africa

This publication from IGI Global aims to focus on building strong and viable institutional frameworks that can engender the sustainable utilisation and management of resources for the sustainable development agenda in Africa, as well as to promote economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable. As a continent that is vast and varied, there are differing narratives that have shaped the trends in the economic development trajectories across African countries. Thus, it is not surprising that African countries are pursuing a number of development agendas towards achieving economic growth that are inclusive, pro-poor and sustainable, particularly the type that can unleash the potentials of women and the booming youthful population. As expected, efforts are being made in a host of African countries to have country-specific visions (e.g. Vision 2030 of Algeria, Kenya, and South Africa) that are in tandem with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This publication seeks strategies for building resilient institutional frameworks for sustainable resource management, sustainable development, and inclusive growth. It anticipates extending the frontiers of knowledge by soliciting quality contributions from academics and practitioners that highlight and address the above issues with relevant and actionable recommendations. To find out more, view the open call here. The proposal submission deadline is 11 January, 2020. 

Latest News

RCEs Discuss 'Expectations and Future Developments for ESD for 2030' in Okayama

(Photo credit: UNU-IAS)

On 23 November, 2019, a workshop on the 'Future Expectations for RCEs with ESD for 2030' was held in Okayama, Japan, organised by the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and supported by RCE Okayama. The workshop was held back-to-back with the 'ESD Forum and ESD Okayama Award 2019' held on 24 November, 2019 organised by the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission, the ESD Okayama Award Steering Committee, Okayama city, and Okayama University.

The event brought together around 20 participants from RCE Hokkaido Central, RCE Greater Sendai, RCE Chubu, RCE Okayama and RCE Kitakyushu from Japan, RCE Iskandar (Malaysia), RCE Thiruvananthapuram (India), and RCE Yogyakarta (Indonesia). RCEs delivered presentations focusing on the major focus areas and activities in their respective RCEs, major barriers they are facing, and expectations towards the next step for ESD/RCE activities. The discussion included the need for balanced internal coordination in RCEs, continuity of projects, financial approaches, the relationship between problem solving and academic outputs, how to accelerate transformations, and coordination among different stakeholders. A Q&A session followed the presentations, whereby major topics included how to analyse impacts, how to expand funding opportunities, and how to accelerate RCE activities. Read more

RCE Ogun Participates at the 3rd African Youth Virtual Conference (AYVC)

(Photo credit: RCE Ogun)

RCE Ogun recently participated in the 3rd African Youth Virtual Conference hosted by RCE Minna, Nigeria, in collaboration with RCE Grand Rapids. The conference was organised to further provide and enhance knowledge sharing, networking and consolidate the already existing relationship among African youths within the RCE Network. Under the theme, 'A Regional Perspective on the Roles of RCEs in Achieving SDG 13: Climate Action and Sustainable Development on the Continent', RCE Ogun presented their case study on 'Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Ogun State: Taking Timely Actions', with over 20 participants from RCE Ogun in attendance in person, including the Chair, RCE Ogun (Prof. Evans Osabuohien), Centre Officer and Youth Coordinator, RCE Ogun (Mr Ademola Onabote), students of Covenant University (Ms Victoria Okafor, Ms Ogundimu Motunrayo & Mr Udo Emmanuel), and students and teachers of Wisdomland Model College and The Bells Secondary Schools. Read more

RCE North Rift Conducts Roadshow to Mobilise Communities for Chebara Dam Annual Conservation Run

(Photo credit: RCE North Rift)

On 13 November, 2019, RCE North Rift held a meeting with other RCEs in Kenya which allowed those in attendance to share about projects undertaken as well as financing challenges. The following day, RCE North Rift took coordinators to visit a number of projects, including visits to Kimumu Primary School, Kobil Integrated Primary School, Chebara Dam, and Chogoo Tree Nursery headed by the Cheptengis Okilgei Conservation Group. On 15 November, the RCE North Rift team conducted a road show to mobilise communities to participate in the Chebara Dam Annual Conservation Run, where participants in the event partook in a tree planting session at ATC Kaptomut College led by Kenya Forest Services Head of Conservancy, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Water Tower Agency, Kenya Film Classification Board, Annar Pakers, International Educational Centre, Chebara LOC, RCE North Rift, and the X Generation Youth Group. Over 1,000 tree seedlings were planted on the day, as more seedlings were planted at the Chebara Dam.

National Seminar on SDGs held at IUBAT, RCE Greater Dhaka

On 21 November, 2019, the International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) and RCE Greater Dhaka held a day-long National Seminar on Sustainable Development Goals on its campus.

Under the theme, 'Ways to achieving SDG educational targets 4.3, 4.4, 4.7 in Bangladesh', 42 principals of various colleges, representatives from private universities, and NGOs participated in the seminar, which covered an orientation to the SDGs.

In his keynote speech, Professor Mohammed Ataur Rahman, Director of IUBAT Institute of SDG Studies (IISS) and Knowledge-Based Area Development (KBAD) and Coordinator of RCE Greater Dhaka, highlighted the vision of Professor Alimullah Miyan, to establish an education bank to finance higher study for ESD-skilled human resource development. He added that Professor Miyan has the view to provide financial support to all marginalised meritorious students with a target for creating at least one professional graduate from each village of Bangladesh by 2030, to contribute towards the country's ambitions for prosperity.

ESD Center for Research, Training and Development Launched by the University of San Jose-Recoletos, Philippines

On 10 December, 2019, the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu, Philippines launched the Education for Sustainable Development Center for Research, Training and Development. Its aims include identifying the program goals and objectives for sustainable development in the University, designing programs on Research, Training and Development for ESD, securing partnerships with stakeholders that work for sustainable efforts and initiatives locally and internationally, and piloting and designing programs for communities in promoting community-based ESD.

IUBAT Ranked 241 among 780 Universities of the World in Green Metric Index

The International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT), the host institution of RCE Greater Dhaka, has ranked 241st out of 780 universities (and 2nd in Bangladesh) in the 2019 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings. The UI GreenMetric World University Rankings is the first and only university rankings in the world that measures each participating university's commitment to developing an 'environmentally friendly' infrastructure. The rankings look at six indicators (setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste management, water usage, transportation and education and research). View the full list here.

Reorienting Education Towards Sustainability for Higher Education Teachers

(Photo credit: RCE Srinagar)

Organised by the School of Education, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University (HNBGU), Srinagar, Garhwal, a six-day training programme on 'Reorienting education towards sustainability for higher education teachers' was held from 5-10 December, 2019 in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. RCE Srinagar helped the School of Education to design the training programme.

More than 36 teachers from various universities and postgraduate colleges from across the state of Uttarakhand were invited to attend. The programme aimed to transform young minds; those on the threshold of becoming active participants in society as citizens, decision makers and the leaders of tomorrow. It highlighted the important role of ESD and GCED as key elements of quality education and a crucial enabler for achieving SDGs, specifically SDG 4.7. Read more

2019 Global Conference on Teacher Education for ESD Held in Okayama

The 2019 Global Conference on Teacher Education for Education for Sustainable Development was held between 22-25 November, 2019, in Okayama, Japan, organised by the UNESCO Chair in Research and Education for Sustainable Development at Okayama University ESD Promotion Centre, Graduate School of Education, Okayama University and UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University, Canada. Over 200 participants from 40 countries attended the conference, with a programme containing plenary lectures, parallel breakout sessions, field trips to a school and community centre, and a presentation of the 2019 ESD Okayama Awards. Members of various RCEs were in attendance, including Dr. Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar, RCE Srinagar, who chaired research presentations of the group 'Indigenous ESD', with presentations made by speakers from Canada, India, Malaysia, Russia and Taiwan.

'Our Voice in the World' Festival - Celebrating UNESCO International Year for Indigenous Languages

Held at Aberystwyth University from 28-29 November 2019, the 'Our Voice in the World' festival sought to celebrate Welsh language promotion and planning efforts in an international context. It included a series of talks, discussion panels and performances to celebrate the vitality of the Welsh language among the family of global languages. It explored experiences from Wales and other countries with regards to language policy and planning, language learning and use and language, literature, the arts and media.

RCE Cymru/Wales Language and Culture Circle of Interest was a partner in this event. Amongst the sessions organised was an 'open space' workshop where practitioners shared their good practice on promoting the Welsh language in collaboration with the Welsh Language Commissioner. This enabled practitioners to share their practices and learning on topics including language awareness training, Welsh in the workplace training and developing five-year local strategic plans to promote the Welsh language.


Country Progress on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness: An Analysis of Country Submissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Published by UNESCO in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this document provides a status report on the implementation of climate change education in countries. It outlines key findings from an analysis of country submissions to the UNFCCC, and highlights achievements and remaining gaps in the area of climate change education. A total of 368 country submissions (National Communications and Nationally Determined Contributions) from 194 countries were analysed for the report. Download the full report here.

Social Entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs and RCEs in the Age of Acceleration

An Australian Office for Learning and Teaching senior fellowship with 3,700 Learning and Teaching leaders from around the world over the past three years (FLIPCurric) has identified the critical importance of giving more careful attention to confirming the fitness of purpose of a higher education program before confirming the fitness for purpose of what is to be delivered or assessed. This requires determining exactly what key capabilities and competencies graduates now need if they are to successfully negotiate the 'age of acceleration' and the key social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges now faced. This means that graduates need to be developed to be work ready for today, but also 'work ready plus' for an uncertain tomorrow and that, to achieve this, social enterprise projects should be consistently built into the curriculum, with a particular focus on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

What is also emerging is a clear understanding of how the world's RCEs can play a key role in identifying, supporting, linking and leveraging school, college and university student engagement in social enterprise projects of practical local importance. It is upon these initiatives that a recent paper by Geoff Scott, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Sustainability at Western Sydney University, Australia and founder of RCE Greater Western Sydney gives focus. The paper, 'Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development in the Age of Acceleration' provides a succinct overview of the state of play in this important new area and may be of relevance to educators and RCEs interested in supporting a more coherent and linked focus on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The article is available for download from Charles University's E-Journal Envigogika here.

RCE Saskatchewan Asks: Is There an Ecomuseum near You?

An ecomuseum - or 'museum without walls' - is an organisation that members of a community set up so they can preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for sustainable development (European 'Long Network' definition). 

Ecomuseums are older and more numerous than RCEs - some date back to the 1970s and there are 600+ worldwide compared to 168 RCEs - but both networks are now global in their reach, and they are working towards similar goals. Some ecomuseums are mostly about attracting tourism, but more often the aim is to foster environmental restoration, sense of place, social cohesion, and sustainable livelihoods by raising awareness and encouraging local action. They are essentially using local heritage as a basis for sustainability education.

A recent study (Hall and Sutter, 2019, Journal of the Inclusive Museum 12:23-31) examined the role that ecomuseums might be playing around biodiversity conservation, since the ecomuseum model embraces natural as well as cultural heritage. The findings, based on a self-directed online survey, suggest that only a few are addressing this issue through citizen science, but many were interested in doing more both as individual organisations and as a global network.

Developing closer connections between ecomuseums and RCEs could have a positive impact on biodiversity conservation and other sustainability issues, since RCEs are a potentially valuable source of expertise and partnerships.

To learn more about the global ecomuseum network or to reach out to ecomuseums that may be operating close to your RCE, visit the DROPS: World Platform for Ecomuseums and Community Museums website here, or join the Facebook group 'Ecomuseum Professionals Worldwide'. Read more about ecomuseums here.

UNESCO Green Academies - Guidelines for Climate-Resilient Schools

UNESCO Green Academies foster active youth participation by engaging young people and their communities to achieve a sustainable lifestyle in their schools feeding back into their communities, by transforming existing buildings such as schools into climate-resilient structures, equipped with simple, affordable and replicable changes. The four pillars of focus are water security, clean energy, biomass production, and waste management. Find out more here (information is available in English, French, and Chinese).

RCE Ogun Climate Change Activity Book for Secondary Schools and RCE 2019 Report

RCE Ogun is pleased to share publications and resources they have developed for use by Secondary Schools, including the 'RCE Ogun Climate Change Activity Book' and 'RCE Ogun Log Book', free to use by all who may be interested in hosting such programmes in their regions. The resources can be accessed here.

Their 2019 report, which showcases all their activities for the year, is also available now here.